tv Politics Nation MSNBC September 21, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
time that passes, the better he can evade the demands, but i wonder. mitt romney is hiding those tax returns for 10 of the past 12 years. there's a reason whye's doing it, and it just may fit in what he's been caught saying about the haves and the have nots in this country, what he really thinks of the duty of americans to pay their fair share, especially knows, who in mitt's favorite word, have achieved success. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts now. >> thanks, chris. and thanks to you for tuning in. we're live this evening from washington. tonight's lead was going to be this. the fire and brimstone case against mitt romney's 47% view of america. >> i don't believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims. i don't see a lot of victims in the crowd today. >> he thinks all these folks.
he thinks these folks believe that they're entitled, that they've become dependent. how could he be so profoundly wrong about america? how is that possible? >> now, what could possibly be more compelling than that to start the show? how about mitt romney's tax returns? late today, he finally released his 2011 tax returns. we've been waiting for months for this promised return. so what did we learn? he made $13.7 million from investment income. he paid $1.9 million in federal taxes. which makes his effective tax rate 14.1%. that 14.1% is about half -- half what the average worker pays. yet another example of how this tax code is rigged for the wealthy. but the big news today is still
all the years and years of returns that romney is refusing to release. past candidates have all released several years of returns, including romney's own father, who set the standard by releasing 12 years. romney even required 10 years of return from his own running mate paul ryan. instead of giving us more than two years, romney is essentially saying, trust me on this. today his accountant released a letter saying that over the last two decades, the romneys' average federal tax rate was just over 20%, and their lowest federal tax rate was 13.6%. well, if they can put all that in a letter, why not just release the taxes so we can see for ourselves? after the seeing of his new tax return, the question remains --
what in his tax returns is he afraid of showing the public? joining me now is former pennsylvania governor ed rendell, now an nbc news political analyst. krystal ball, the cohost of "the cycle" here at msnbc. and david k. johnston, tax expert and author of "the fine print." thank you all for joining me tonight. >> thanks, reverend. >> now, david, i just went over the basics of what the returns show, but you found a clue in his accountant's press release about what he's not sharing. it says, "in each year during the entire 20-year period, the romneys owed both state and federal income taxes." owed, not paid. why is that important? >> the word is very important because, among the possibilities the word owed raises is there was an audit that resulted in a large payment of tax later because they underpaid the tax,
an amended tax return by the romneys, or an obligation they didn't pay for some number of years. so i wrote the campaign and asked them -- they know that this statement's going to be very closely scrutinized, and this is, after all, a verb. why didn't they say paid? and the short answer that i got back was not answering that question. and the trouble i'm having with that is very simple. this is an issue romney needs to shut down for his campaign, and yet at every juncture what he's done is taken actions that just lead to more questions. what does that tell us about the man's judgment? is because the only text you have when you're president of the united states is what do you do when you're faced with the unexpected? this is the expected, and he doesn't seem to be doing very well with it. >> when we look at the politics of this, a cnn/orc poll was released saying that 63% of all
americans say, yes, when the question was asked whether he should release more tax returns. so i think, when you're dealing with tax rates, when you're dealing with fairness, especially when you're dealing in light of this 47% statement, that this is a sound political question since candidates in the past have had to do this. >> no question. and what mr. johnston said is particularly revealing. let's assume the romneys did pay 14% to 20% that the letter seems to imply, each and every year for the last 20. this year he paid about 14%. so if that were the case, then what's the reason for not releasing it? in many years, he paid more than he paid in 2011, if you believe what the accountant says. they paid up to 20%.
so the damage is already done. people know, because of the way the tax code is skewed to the rich, they have a lower tax rate than they do anyway. so if the romneys paid 14% at the low end of the spectrum, then why wouldn't you release the last 10, 15 years, and put this issue to bed. it's very curious. it makes me more curious than before the accountant released that letter. >> the other thing, krystal, that is of interest here, is his offshore money 2011. switzerland, cayman islands, germany, his offshore money, and the whole questions of investments out of the country, possible tax she willltersshelt of concern to the voters for someone who's going to lead this country. >> i think people find it strange a presidential candidate
would be holding their money in all the places he listed. and the other thing that's curious is the 14% rate that he paid. that was an intentionally elevated rate. if he had taken all the charitable contribution deductions he could have taken, his rate would have been more like 9%. the reason i think that they decided they had to elevate that number is because romney had come out back in august and sort of an off the cuff comment and said that he had paid at least 13% in every year. so if he had then come out with a 9% rate in the very week when he had castigated half the country for not paying enough taxes, that would have been very damaging. but then he said, if someone paid more taxes than he technically owed, that would disqualify him for the presidency. it's a very strange situation. you can only imagine in the romney campaign what a dismal decision it was to figure out to make, in this week of all weeks. >> let me go back to you, david.
i want to dig in a little where krystal brought us. "the new york times" says that romney actually paid more in taxes in 2011 than he needed. taking smaller charity deductions, and i'm reading from "the times." "mr. romney has said that he has paid at least 13% in federal income taxes in each year of the last ten years. in order for the claim to be true in 2011, mr. romney had to voluntarily take a smaller deduction than he was entitled to for his charitable deductions." krystal suggested he's doing that for political reasons because of what he had stated in the past. but the fact is, whether he's doing it for political reasons or not, that means that he's paying a much smaller rate than working americans, some of whom were part of the 47% he took a shot at this week. >> yes, he's paying a much lower rate. let's remember that there are -- in 2009, there were almost 1,500
millionaire income people who paid no federal income action at thats. the tax policy center estimates there will be 1,700 of them this year. that's not counting the people who were on private equity funds, as romney used to do, and hedge funds, who are entitled under the law to defer all of their income, and if they choose, pay no federal income tax at all. remember romney said -- and stated it as a principle -- i pay what the law requires and not a dollar more, and yet he's chosen in this case, depending on the details of how you recalculate his return, to pay somewhere between 270,000 and $620,000 of additional tax. i'm sorry. i thought there was a principle here. you only pay the minimum the law requires, or is this another case of where mitt romney says one thing and then, when it appears to be politically convenient, ignore your principles to do something else. >> governor rendell, let me ask you. in an abc interview in july, this is what mitt romney said about paying more taxes than
required and how it would disqualify him from being president. listen to mr. romney. >> my view is i have paid all the taxes required by law. i don't pay more than are legally due, and frankly, if i had paid more than are legally due, i don't think i'd be qualified to become president. >> how do you respond to that, governor, given that we're being told now? >> it's stunning. if that's true and he made that remark in july, it's just another incredible case of stepping on his own words. it's just incredible. but i think that's sort of a humorous issue, but more importantly is why he hasn't released the prior years. again, if he's paid 13% to 20%, somewhere in that range, he
released his returns here. he paid a little more than 13%, 14%, then what's the harm in releasing them? i can't figure out from a campaign point of view why they don't just release them and bury this issue once and for all. sometime during this campaign, they've got to be able to focus the nation's attention on the economy, none of this other distraction. why don't they do that? does anybody -- krystal, do you have a thought? >> krystal, is this going anywhere? i mean, you're talking about he knew he was going to run for president. a lot of americans, me included, did it at the last minute. but if you're going to run for president, how do they take care of this and get beyond it? is this going to quiet down? >> it's not going to quiet down, and the release does raise more questions than it answers. it's really unbelievable. it's not like he's just decided he's going to run for president. he's been planning for years to run for president, and the thought didn't occur to him that this would be an issue.
and there's a broader issue throughout his campaign of a complete lack of transparency, whether it's within his own finances or what he intends to do for the country if elected. there's absolutely no willingness to share those details with the american people. >> governor ed rendell, krystal ball, and david k. johnston, thanks for your time tonight. have a good weekend. >> thanks, reverend. you too. today paul ryan was selling his plan to end medicare as we know it to a big crowd of senior citizens. you can guess what kind of reception he got. >> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care because it represents the worst of both worlds. i had a feeling there would be mixed reaction. so let me get into it. plus the obama-biden ticket comes out swinging on romney's 47% comments. you'll want to hear this.
and a prominent conservative is calling the romney campaign, a, quote, rolling calamity. and now ann romney has had enough. she has a message to fellow republicans slamming her husband. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. ♪ what are you doing? uh. who taught you how to do this stuff? you! all right! i learned it by watching you! [ male announcer ] parents who skim, have kids who skim. kraft macaroni & cheese. you know you love it. [ male announcer ] parents who skim, have kids who skim. chase scene netflix coming soon extra butter tickets swoon penguin journey junior mints movie phone evil prince bollywood 3d shark attack ned the head 5% cashback signup for 5% cashback on movies through september.
the president was talking about medicare yesterday. i'm excited about this. this is a debate we want to have. this is a debate we need to have, and this is a debate we're going to win. >> remember that. ah, the good old days, back in august when paul ryan joined the republican ticket. the dynamic duo was going to run on medicare. it was a debate they were going to win. how's that working out for them? let's listen to congressman ryan talking about the issue to seniors at the aarp today.
>> the first step to a stronger medicare is to repeal obama care because it represents the worst of both worlds. i had a feeling there would be mixed reaction, so let me get into it. >> i don't know if that's a mixed reaction so much as a negative one. how's this for a mixed reaction? that's ryan talking, and these are all the people walking out of his speech. they're voting with their feet. here's a hint. they are not winning on medicare. they're losing on it. in key states, president obama leads on the issue by six points, and that includes florida. surprise, surprise, americans don't like the idea of radically changing medicare, especially when you want to give tax breaks to the rich and to oil companies, especially when our seniors have worked so hard for the peace of mind that this program gives them.
don't take my word for it. just listen to the folks who attended ryan's speech today. >> i worked for that. i paid into all these programs, the medicare and that. they're not entitlement. and why is it okay for oil companies to have entitlements that they're getting? >> well, i didn't find ryan sincere at all. >> frankly, a lot of them, people around me were booing, and i think they get the feeling that these folks will say anything just to get elected. >> hey, how's that winning argument going? joining me now is e.j. dion, columnist for "the washington post" and an msnbc contributor. e.j., thank you for coming on the show tonight. >> glad to be with you. >> doesn't seem like medicare is the winning argument they thought it would be, huh? >> it's as if the democrats went out there and said, we're the party that's better on tax cuts for well off americans, and no matter what they said and how
much they tried to argue that, most americans would say, no, the republicans are the party for that sort of thing. similarly on medicare, the whole history on medicare is that democrats introduced it, and the skeptics, including back then, ronald reagan, were the republicans who were against it, the conservatives. then you have paul ryan come along who wants to create a voucher plan. everybody knew that was his position. for a little while, they gained some ground by talking about the cuts that obama made to providers and said this is a big $716 billion cut. then it became clear that ryan himself included that money in his own budget and that it came back to normal after a while. i think the democratic convention president clinton and others made the case pretty strongly. if you really want to defend traditional medicare, the party that traditionally defended it, that gave it to you, is still the party to go to. i think that's why they're
fighting uphill, and i don't think they'll ever win on the medicare issue. what happened today is an indication of that. >> while we're on ryan, there's also a lot of talk about a 2005 audio of ryan slamming social security. listen to this, e.j. >> social security right now is a collectivist system. it's a welfare transfer system. if every worker in this country becomes an owner of real life, of seeing the fruits of their labor come and materialize for their benefit, then that many more people in america who aren't going to listen to the likes of dick gephardt and nancy pelosi, ted kennedy, the class warfare breeding demagogues. >> i mean, is he in another planet, an alternative universe? >> in that case, he really was. the article which came out from a professor in the midwest, he was talking to ayn rand foeklks
and ayn rand really is on another ideological planet from most americans. these are arguments that go all the way back to the 1930s, and for a long time after dwight eisenhower, the republicans made their peace with social security and said americans are for this, they like this, we're not going to touch it. and suddenly, you've got ryan back there saying what he really believes, which is that the core fdr social insurance programs are really just a kind of socialism. i think he's being quite honest there. i just don't think that's where most americans are. i think, if we look back at this period in the campaign as a turning point, which it's looking more and more like we will, i think part of it will be this is a period when the country came to realize how extreme this version of republicanism and conservatism is, and that's why they're having a problem. >> president obama also addressed the aarp before ryan
did by tape. let's listen because he kind of preemptively addressed some of the claims that ryan would make. let's listen to what the president said. >> medicare and social security are not handouts. you've paid into these programs your whole lives. you've earned that. my opponent's running mate wrote a bill that would have privatized social security, and after what happened on wall street just four years ago, does anybody actually think that's a good idea? contrary to what you've heard and what you may hear from subsequent speakers, obama care actually strengthened medicare. >> your reaction to the president's preemptive tape? >> when the republicans tried to partially privatize social security under president bush, paul ryan was one of the leading supporters of this. and it went down, not just because democrats opposed this, it went down because a whole lot of republicans said, we can't do this. this is unpopular. this is a mistake. so to have a candidate who can
actually put social security back on the table for democrats, this is kind of a gift from heaven to the democrats, and i think the president's speech suggested he feels that way too. >> yeah, well, ryan, as you say, he believes it. i guess he's doing what he believes. i may believe i'm 7'1", but that doesn't mean they're going to sign me up on a basketball team and pass me the ball. >> i could say the same thing. thank you. >> e.j., thanks for coming tonight. have a great weekend. >> great to be with you. ahead, president obama and joe biden came out today hammering governor romney for dismissing 47% of the country. >> how could he be so profoundly wrong about america? and from politician to punch line. can the republican candidate recover after becoming a target for late night comedians? you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. >> the leaves are falling.
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♪ [ female announcer ] and try aleve for relief from tough headaches. welcome back. so why did governor romney pick today to release one year of his tax returns? we don't know, but it may have had to do with the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week he's had since the secret tape revealed him calling 47% of americans victims and free loaders. and this tape has handed the obama campaign the political equivalent of a sledge hammer.
in virginia today, the president was swinging it again at mr. romney's view of america. >> i don't believe we can get very far with leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of victims, who think that they're not interested in taking responsibility for their own lives. i don't see a lot of victims in this crowd today. i see hard working virginiians. nobody believes that anyone's entitled to success in this country. we don't believe the government should be helping people who refuse to help themselves, but we do believe in something called opportunity. the values we believe in don't just belong to workers or businesses, the 53% or the 47%, the rich or the poor, the 1%, the 99% -- these are american values. they belong to all of us.
>> they belong to all of us. suddenly, the talk about taxes doesn't seem so bad, and that political sledgehammer was passed to joe biden today. for the first time, he weighed in on the tape. it was classic joe biden. >> he thinks these folks believe they're entitled, that they've become dependent. they see themselves as victims. they don't take responsibility for their own lives. how could he be so profoundly wrong about america? how is that possible? not in my neighborhood, not where i grew up, not the people i know. >> how could he be so profoundly wrong about america? is what so many americans are asking. joining me now is robert reisch,
former labor secretary and now economics professor at u.c. berkeley. he's also the author of the new book "beyond outrage, what's gone wrong with our economy and our democracy and how to fix them." and cynthia tucker, pulitzer prize winning columnist and visiting professor of journalism at the university of georgia. thanks to both of you for being here tonight. >> pleasure to be here. >> let me start with you. they're pounding romney on the 47% comment. how did you see this playing out? >> it plays into a story that not only the obama administration has been telling about romney but also a lot of people have been talking about romney for a very, very long time. here is somebody that is not only out of touch with america but also somebody who is so rich and privileged and also quite powerful, given his position on wall street and in bain capital, that he has, in many ways,
represented and embodied what is wrong with america right now. a kind of a plutocracy, extraordinary combination of income and wealth at the very top and everybody else floundering. is not only a heartless plutocracy, but it's one that's not bearing its fair share of keeping the country going. this is what links the tax return to what romney said about the 47% who he says he doesn't real really have any care for or doesn't have any worry about. they all play into the same underlying story. also, romney's gaffes, repeated gaffes, i'll bet you $10,000 and so forth. this is essentially a story about somebody who not only doesn't care about america but also is proposing in his budget, in his paul ryan-romney plan to give a gigantic tax break, $3.7
trillion over the next ten years, to the same wealthy people that he's been talking to and he was talking to at that fund-raiser. i mean, romney's taxes today that he finally released today, he would be paying substantially less of a tax rate. he's paying 14.1%. he'd be paying about 2% if his own tax plan went into effect. and this is a president or presidential candidate who basically is not out for everyone. i mean, he is out for everyone, but he's not there for the country. he's there to represent and to be of and by and for the top 1%, top .1 of 1%. >> cynthia tucker, you're a pulitzer prize winning columnist, a conservative columnist, peggy noonan, had an exchange with romney surrogate john sununu today. let me share what i mean. noonan wrote, "the romney campaign" -- this is the second
time she's hit them this week. she says, "the romney campaign has to get turned around. this week i called it incompetent but only because i was being polite. i really meant rolling calamity." and, of course, one of romney's surrogates responded, john sununu, who is standing by romney's side as others are leaving, and he hit back at noonan personally on msnbc today. let me play what he said. >> i wouldn't hire peggy noonan to run a campaign. i don't ask her to have me write her columns. the fact is that what is going on in america is a response to a president who has established a campaign of class warfare. >> doesn't seem like the romney people are too happy with miss noonan's advice. >> no, they are not, and i have to say -- i have to give peggy credit. she's always been a fabulous wordsmith. rolling calamity is what the romney campaign has been for the past few weeks.
it's been an absolute gaffe machine. but, no, they are not happy. and one of the reasons they are not happy is because the mistakes of the past two weeks have drawn fire not just from democrats, but from republicans as well. leading republicans have been out there drubbing the romney campaign for, first, the terrible misfire on libya when romney got out there and said something that was clearly wrong, acttacking obama when a consulate had been attacked and americans, including an ambassador, dead. republicans, leading republicans jumped all over him for that. that followed with this tape, this secretly recorded videotape of him saying absolutely vicious things about half the country. many republicans have jumped on him about that because it is truly awful.
they don't want republicanism to be associated with that. so romney is not just hearing from democrats, he's hearing from republican s saying, for heaven's sakes, do something about this campaign because it's falling apart. some senate some republicans who are running from the senate are distancing themselves from romney, and, of course, ann romney has come out and vented her own frustration with the republicans who are criticizing romney. >> let me go to your first point, first, though, cynthia. secretary reich, "the washington post" reported in an article titled "some republicans in tight races are distancing themselves from standard bearer romney." and they're saying, "some gop candidates in tight races are getting anxious about being cemented to mitt romney, push
back against the gop standard bearer showing up in competitivcompetitive congressional and gubernatorial races." i know you've been in a political administration. how do you respond to this? >> in politics, when other politicians see a ship going down, they do whatever they can to get as far away from that ship as possible. the irony here is that mitt romney turned right very, very strongly because his advisers said to him, everyone in america has already made up their minds who they're going to vote for. this campaign is going to be won on the basis of turnout. and therefore, romney, you have got to ignite the base, get them excited, get them turned out to a greater extent than the liberal and democratic bases turned out. mitt romney took their advice, followed exactly what the tea partiers wanted, he got paul ryan on his ticket, and then he
began to basically mouth what the tea party has been saying all along. to have the republicans basically desert him at this point is wildly ironic because this is exactly what the republican party has come to represent, this radical right wingism. this is what america is final l understanding it doesn't want. >> we have to leave it there. robert reich and cynthia tucker, thanks for your time tonight. have a good weekend to both of you. >> thanks, john. you too. >> governor romney became the punch line for comedians this week, but the result may not leave him hurting. that's next. i'm done! "are you a cool mom?" i'm gonna find out. [ female announcer ] swiffer wetjet's pads are better than ever. now they have the scrubbing power of mr. clean magic eraser so you don't have to get down on your hands and knees to scrub away tough, dried-on stains.
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ha ha ho, ha ha ho, ha. >> let's see the leaves are falling. temperatures are falling. romney's poll numbers are falling. it must be autumn. >> mitt romney's words give late night comedians one of their best weeks. he became the punch line. romney's elegant explanation of the secret tapes inspired stephen colbert to get fancy. >> i will now deliver mitt's core message, but this time with a little more panache. unfortunately, two score of 7% will vote for my opponent, that socialist hotten to the. bring me the mindless masses. come on, come in. see how they love it? see? stop being a victim. oh, winslow, winslow, take them
away. they depress me, and they smell like shrimp. out, out. >> hilarious. hilarious. "saturday night live" found enough material for a special thursday night edition. >> this first question is worth $25. >> that's okay. we're not going to answer questions for a quarter. >> so, that's $25. >> right. which is a quarter of $100. is there any other type of quarter? i don't understand. >> as for his claim that it's not his job to worry about americans who don't pay taxes, i wouldn't worry, buddy. it's looking less and less like it wouldn't be your job. >> i think we'll be seeing a lot more of that in the next 46 days. it's all in good fun, but when your campaign becomes a punch line, you know they're laughing until it hurts. back with us is krystal ball,
cohost of "the cycle" here on msnbc, and comedian and tv personality chuck nice. chuck, this is really not his best week. are late night comedians making it worse? >> absolutely. and with good reason. mitt romney is to comedy what mr. softee is to ice cream, so easy to serve up. i'm sorry. that's just the way it is. that's the stark reality. >> but i thought you wanted mitt romney to win? >> mr. sharpton, i was here a while ago and i told you i wanted mitt romney to win, but i have to say, after libya and through this whole 47% thing, i am now declaring my public support for mitt romney because i believe god is telling me, look what i'm doing for you here, chuck.
>> it's all about your career. >> look what i'm doing for you. it can't get any better. >> krystal, a lot of comedians, and i suppose a lot of people in the entertainment world, isn't that a negative thing? it's one thing to have "saturday night live" when you're running for president. it was for me. i did "saturday night live." but when you become a nightly joke -- let's see what happened in '08 with sarah palin and mccain. look at this. >> hillary and i don't agree on everything. >> anything. >> i believe that diplomacy should be the cornerstone of any foreign policy. >> and i can see russia from my house. >> i would like to take this opportunity to make my opponent a proposal. effective immediately, each of us suspend our campaigns and
instead hold a series of three pie eating contests. next tuesday, kansas city lemon meringue. saturday, jacksonville blueberry. the following week in dallas, coconut custard. >> when it gets out of the joke and the comedy shows and starts getting into the ground water, it stincks, krystal. >> i love the pie eating contest. that's right. i always try to think about not what partisans, what the sort of belt way media are talking about, but what is getting through to the average american? and a lot of the daily ups and downs don't break through, but over the course of the campaign, an impression forms. an impression is what you're seeing in, i think, the late night shows. mitt romney over the past really three, four weeks has provided a lot of material.
the thing that was so devastating about tina fey's sarah palin is that she actually just took sarah palin's words verbatim and read them and then would add a little bit of a twist to make it that much further over the line. in some ways you're able to do that with mitt romney because he caricatures himself in a way by being so all over the map with the messaging that he puts out on a week to week basis. >> and then, chuck, there seems to be things that just seem to be weird and unnecessary if you're trying to win people over. for example, on that same tape, he said that david letterman hated him. let me play you what david letterman answered. >> the man is delusional. if he thinks -- honest to god, if he thinks i hate him. let me ask you something, mitt. if we hated you, why do we keep begging you to be on the show? mitt romney or his little buddy, the vice president -- who's the
little guy? >> paul ryan. >> paul ryan. paul ryan. gilligan, his little buddy gilligan. an open invitation any time. on short notice, you want to be here tomorrow? fine. come tomorrow. you want to be here monday, any time. i don't care. bring in paul ryan. bring in mitt romney. bring in mitt and mrs. mitt and all the kids. bring in everybody. we don't hate you, mitt. >> that's got to be devastating, chuck. >> it is devastating because, in instances such as that, we're not laughing at mitt as much as we are just laughing at mitt. that's really what it comes down to. when you set yourself up in a position where you say something like, well, no president should talk to "the view" or david letterman hates me, you open yourself up to these things and you make it so that it's
shooting ducks in a barrel, as i should say. i don't know, what's a really rich word for duck. maybe it's the shooing foie gras in a barrel. >> one thing is any candidate is going to get mocked at some point, but i think you have to have that sense of humor and show the american people that you have a sense of humor and you're not taking yourself too seriously. it's one of the great gifts that the president has. he's able to convey that, and he also has fantastic comedic timing. so he can deliver a joke and himself be funny, which is a huge advantage. >> no, it is. it's just that, when you start being the delivered joke, it becomes a disadvantage. krystal and chuck, thanks for being here tonight. have a great weekend to both of you. >> and you too. >> don't forget, watch krystal on "the cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. eastern right here on msnbc. we'll be right back. now, that's what i call a test drive.
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if you're going to vote, we'll need some photo i.d. >> but i've lived here all my life. >> stopping all americans from voting is for the protection of all americans. >> but i'm a 40-year-old white guy who didn't go to college and gets all his news from monitors at gas stations. >> in you go. >> voter i.d. is such a problem now, even the simpsons are making fun of it. this republican effort to suppress the vote is no laughing matter. just this week, we heard the sponsor of pennsylvania's voter i.d. law say this. >> as mitt romney said, what, we have 47% of the people that are living off the public dole, living off of their neighbor's hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get off -- to get up and get out there and get the i.d. they need. so i mean, if individuals are too lazy, the state can't fix that. >> republicans piled up
obstacles to voting and then have the gall to accuse people of being too lazy to vote. this is what we're up against. in these final 46 days before the election, the battle over voting rights will be fought in the courts and in the streets. precinct by precinct. but in a lot of ways, election day starts today. idaho and south dakota became the first states to begin early in person voting, and by the end of this month, people in 30 states will be voting early, even in person or through absentee balanlotballots. i'm in washington in two days of meetings at the congressional black caucus and others talking about efforts of groups like mine, the national action network, to get people to vote, to go beyond efforts to suppress the vote, and all i can say is no matter who you vote for -- and i mean this -- whatever your